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Jonathan Alexandratos

Mission to (dit)Mars is thrilled to continue the Launch Pad reading series with WORDS CANNOT DESCRIBE THIS, a new play by Jonathan Alexandratos and directed by Jessica Bashline.  This free reading will be performed on Monday, November 19th at 7pm at The Broom Tree Theatre located at 23-35 Broadway in Astoria, NY.

In WORDS CANNOT DESCRIBE THIS, O must flee her home country, Albania.  To do it, she’ll need the help of one asshole, one dead rabbit, three rando strangers, and one magical strawberry implanted in her brain.  This exciting new play asks what is home when home goes away?  

This is basically the story of my mom’s parents and their cousins who fled Albania for Greece, and then Greece for the U.S.” explains Jonathan.  “It’s not a happy story. It’s one that involves abuse, refugees, smuggling people, poverty, loss, war, and discrimination. Yet, it also involves me, and everything I’m able to do now, which I’m pretty happy about.“

The play was commissioned through a New Works Grant awarded by Queens Council on the Arts to create new work that speaks to the Queens community.  

“I’m very lucky to have Mission to (dit)Mars co-supporting me with the QCA for this Launchpad Reading on November 19th.  When I proposed this play to the QCA, I described a piece that is at once Albanian, Greek, American, and, of course, Queens.”  adds Jonathan. “In Queens, and all across New York City, really, there is a massive population of Greeks and Albanians who arrived here, in many cases, because their homes were destroyed by war.”

The evening is presented by Mission to (dit)Mars co-founders Kari Bentley-Quinn, Don Nguyen, Meredith Packer, and Laura Pestronk.  It is made possible (in part) by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.   

To attend the reading, please make a reservation.

The Broom Tree Theater at
Astoria First Presbyterian
23-35 Broadway,
Astoria, NY 11106

Directions: Take the N/Q to Broadway.

About the Launch Pad Reading Series

The Launch Pad is a free reading series of new plays by Queens playwrights.  The mission objective of The Launch Pad is to serve as a testing ground for Queens based playwrights who need to hear their plays out loud.  Because Mission to (dit)Mars was co-founded by playwrights and directors, we understand implicitly how to answer those needs. Through this program, the utmost care is taken to foster a safe and productive environment in order to propel the play forward.

This reading is made possible (in part) by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Mission to (dit)Mars is thrilled to announce All Systems Go: 6 as the culminating event for the LAUNCH PAD Reading Series this year.   This free play reading will be held at the Astoria Performing Arts Center at 30-34 Crescent Street in Astoria, Queens on Monday, June 18th at 7pm.

ALL SYSTEMS GO: 6 is an evening of excerpts from ten brand new plays by the Queens based writers group The Propulsion Lab.   The evening is presented by Mission to (dit)Mars co-founders Kari Bentley-Quinn, Don Nguyen, Meredith Packer, and Laura Pestronk.  It is made possible (in part) by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.  

“Our writers have adeptly responded to the social and political issues happening right now with a diverse and stirring array of plays that examine so many aspects of our world today: sexuality, loneliness, race, class, religion and, above all, the importance of human connection.” said co-founder Kari Bentley-Quinn

Participating playwrights for this event are Jonathan Alexandratos, Kari Bentley-Quinn, Mrinalini Kamath, Lisa Huberman, Kristine M. Reyes, Scott Casper, Tyler Rivenbark, Jason Tseng, Nat Cassidy, and Ray Yamanouchi.  

Laura Pestronk adds “This year’s Propulsion Lab dives headfirst into the deep end, grappling with strong, scary subjects with grace and fearlessness and even hilarity. I’m proud of what is looking to be our no holds barred boldest All Systems Go yet!”

The cast includes Justin Ahdoot, Lesslie Dodge Crane, Duane Fergusan, Paula Galloway, Daniel Isaac (Billions), Karen Johal, Patrick Andrew Jones, Mariana Newhard, Jim Nugent, Tara Pacheco, David Shih, Elijah Trichon, Anthony Willis, and Jr. Rachel Wong.

The evening is directed by Meredith Packer, Laura Pestronk, and Dev Bondarin.  Stage Management by Jodi Witherall.

“I can’t believe we are at All Systems Go! year six. This is by far the most diverse and exciting grouping of excerpts we have been given to present and I am so excited to share it with our theater community here in Queens.” said co-founder Meredith Packer

All Systems Go: 6 will include excerpts from the following ten new plays:

THE TWIRLY POP EXPRESS by Jonathan Alexandratos
A father and son rebuild old animatronic animals from The Twirly Pop Express, the robotic band from a now-defunct kids’ party arcade. When the robo-animals come to life, they expose the true heart of the father and son’s relationship.

21ST CENTURY HISTOTRAGMEDY: A BERNIE CAROL by Scott Casper
A look at the history, tragedy, comedy of the century thus far. In this act, Bernie Madoff is visited by three spirits, guiding us all to a possible redemption we may not deserve.

FOUNDATIONS by Nat Cassidy
A construction crew waits out a sudden rainstorm and, as they exchange stories, they begin to realize that the apartment complex they’re building might actually be haunted.

FIDDLERS by Lisa Huberman
As a left-wing anti-Occupation activist, Ava thought she had a clear sense of her identity as a secular American Jew. But when she brings her non-Jewish boyfriend home at the anniversary of her mother’s death, she is forced to confront her own biases, insecurities, and inherited traumas.

B-A-B-Y by Mrinalini Kamath
Manika, a former spelling bee participant, now all grown-up and a pediatrician, goes about having a child in an unconventional way.

THE DIVER by Kari Bentley-Quinn
Thirty years from now, New York City is hit by a massive tsunami that has changed the landscape and the citizens of the city forever. Amena Fakhoury, one of the last Syrian refugees living in the United States, has been scuba diving to find the lost items of the people who were taken in the wave, and for any evidence of the people she lost. In the meantime, the Muslim community she lives in is being oppressed, jailed and monitored by a privatized police force.

DEDICATED TO YOU (LOVE, RYAN WOO) by Kristine M. Reyes
Ryan has been secretly writing love songs for his long-time crush, Xian, who’s got the hots for Tristan, the new kid in school. In this adaptation of Cyrano de Bergerac, Ryan is Asian, Tristan is white…and Ryan doesn’t stand a chance.

ALL THE PLACES BETWEEN MOONRISE AND MOONSET by Tyler Rivenbark
Witness is a poor, mostly ignored, teenager in a small rural Southern town called Warsaw. This is what he’s seen.

LIKE FATHER by Jason Tseng
A queer contemporary adaptation of Oedipus Rex. Joe asks his old friend Tyrese to help him run the bed and breakfast he and his late husband recently acquired. Eddie arrives with a secret past that threatens to disrupt Joe’s delicate present.

PURE LOVE by Ray Yamanouchi
Four people of color navigate romance and desire.

To attend the reading, please make a reservation on our website:

http://missiontoditmars.com/reservations/

Astoria Performing Arts Center at
Good Shepherd United Methodist Church
30-34 Crescent St. (at 30th Rd)
Astoria, NY 11102

Directions: Take the N/Q to 30th Avenue. Walk down 30th Ave toward the Trade Fair Supermarket, continue past Mt. Sinai Hospital of Queens. Turn left on Crescent Street, then right on 30th Rd. The entrance is the second set of red doors on your left.

About the Launch Pad Reading Series

The Launch Pad is a free reading series of new plays by Queens playwrights.  The mission objective of The Launch Pad is to serve as a testing ground for Queens based playwrights who need to hear their plays out loud.  Because Mission to (dit)Mars was co-founded by playwrights and directors, we understand implicitly how to answer those needs. Through this program, the utmost care is taken to foster a safe and productive environment in order to propel the play forward.

This reading is made possible (in part) by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Nat Cassidy (photo by Prospect Photography)

Mission to (dit)Mars is thrilled to continue the Launch Pad reading series with FOUNDATIONS, a new play by Nat Cassidy.  This free reading will be performed on Monday, April 16th at 7pm at The Broom Tree Theatre located at 23-35 Broadway in Astoria, NY.

Entering the world of FOUNDATIONS you’ll find there’s a new apartment complex being built in your neighborhood: Melody Gardens, offering luxury living at affordable prices. But one day, as they wait for a rainstorm to pass, the construction crew of Melody Gardens begins trading stories about the dreams they’ve been having lately, and they realize: stories are like buildings. We design them. We live in them. And sometimes, they turn out to be haunted.  Foundations is directed by Jordana Williams.

 

The evening is presented by Mission to (dit)Mars co-founders Kari Bentley-Quinn, Don Nguyen, Meredith Packer, and Laura Pestronk.  

On why this eerie script was selected, co-founder Meredith Packer explains “In this play, Nat asks us to take a dark and terrifying look at something as mundane as the apartments we live in. And he makes them thrilling, thought-provoking, and nightmare-inducing.”

“Nat has brilliantly conquered the horror genre, and his plays usually keep me up all night with one eye open.” explains Laura Pestronk.  “The extremely exciting and fearful FOUNDATIONS is no exception, and it had me checking my apartment twice before drifting into a likely nightmare.”

Kari Bentley-Quinn adds “FOUNDATIONS sent more than one shiver down my spine, and proves that Nat is one of the best horror writers for the stage. Not only is this play frightening and unsettling, it features a cast of well drawn characters and edge of your seat suspense.”

This free reading is made possible (in part) by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.   

To attend, please make a reservation.

The Broom Tree Theater at Astoria First Presbyterian
23-35 Broadway,
Astoria, NY 11106

Directions: Take the N/Q to Broadway.

About the Launch Pad Reading Series

The Launch Pad is a free reading series of new plays by Queens playwrights.  The mission objective of The Launch Pad is to serve as a testing ground for Queens based playwrights who need to hear their plays out loud.  Because Mission to (dit)Mars was co-founded by playwrights and directors, we understand implicitly how to answer those needs. Through this program, the utmost care is taken to foster a safe and productive environment in order to propel the play forward.

This reading is made possible (in part) by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

 

Mrinalini Kamath

Mission to (dit)Mars is thrilled to continue the Launch Pad reading series with STUFF,  a new radio play by Mrinalini Kamath.  This free reading will be performed on Monday, February 5th at 7pm at The Broom Tree Theatre located at 23-35 Broadway in Astoria, NY.

Inspired by the NY Times article “The Lonely Death of George Bell,” STUFF tells the story of lives that intersect when a man dies alone in his cluttered apartment. A radio play about living alone in modern times.  STUFF is directed by Colette Robert and live foley provided by Tony Vo.

The evening is presented by Mission to (dit)Mars co-founders Kari Bentley-Quinn, Don Nguyen, Meredith Packer, and Laura Pestronk.  

In describing the play, co-founder Laura Pestronk said “In STUFF, Mrinalini gets us down and dirty into the sometimes darkly comic, sometimes deeply melancholy world of hoarders. From the outside we may simply scoff at the piles of ‘garbage’ kept forever inside certain houses, but STUFF never lets us off the hook so easily.”

Kari Bentley-Quinn adds “We are presenting a brand new experience for Mission to (dit)Mars and our audience. Mrinalini has created a beautiful piece about loneliness, death, and what our material possessions that we leave behind say or don’t say about our lives”

On the unique nature of the play format, Don Nguyen explains “We wanted to immerse the audience in the world of this play which is why we decided to bring in a live foley artist to add that extra dimension to the night’s performance. It’s a whole different set of challenges than what we’re used to, but we’re up for it.”

Meredith Packer says “STUFF explores the conditions of human baggage, both physical and emotional, and how it affects our lives and those around us even after we are gone.”

This free reading is made possible (in part) by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.   

To attend, please make a reservation on our website:

http://missiontoditmars.com/reservations/

The Broom Tree Theater at Astoria First Presbyterian
23-35 Broadway,
Astoria, NY 11106

Directions: Take the N/Q to Broadway.

About the Launch Pad Reading Series

The Launch Pad is a free reading series of new plays by Queens playwrights.  The mission objective of The Launch Pad is to serve as a testing ground for Queens based playwrights who need to hear their plays out loud.  Because Mission to (dit)Mars was co-founded by playwrights and directors, we understand implicitly how to answer those needs.  Through this program, the utmost care is taken to foster a safe and productive environment in order to propel the play forward.

PRESS CONTACT: Don Nguyen, 718-839-0424, missiontoditmars@gmail.com

This reading is made possible (in part) by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Mission to (dit)Mars is thrilled to continue the Launch Pad reading series with THE AMERICAN TRADITION,  a new play by Ray Yamanouchi.  This free play reading will be performed on Monday, November 6th at 7pm at The Broom Tree Theatre located at 23-35 Broadway in Astoria, NY.

THE AMERICAN TRADITION is a play set in Antebellum America.  Eleanor—cross-dressing as a white planter—and her husband, Bill—pretending to be her loyal servant—attempt to escape to the free state of Pennsylvania.  In hot pursuit of them is Walsh, a drunk planter and member of the Not All Slavers movement.  The play is directed by Axel Avin Jr.

The evening is presented by Mission to (dit)Mars co-founders Kari Bentley-Quinn, Don Nguyen, Meredith Packer, and Laura Pestronk.  

Commenting on the play, co-founder Kari Bentley-Quinn says “With The American Tradition, Ray boldly examines the delicate and painful history of slavery in America while seamlessly connecting it to current political rhetoric. The play is at once horrifying, thought provoking, and laugh out loud absurd.“

Meredith Packer adds “Ray’s ability to make his audience look at the harsh truths of slavery in the 1800’s and it’s legacy of systemic racism today without preaching or pretense is proof of his deft writing ability.”

“The dialogue zips along while the tension sizzles in Ray’s American Tradition, and ridiculously funny moments still hit hard as this play fearlessly takes on the horrendous history of slavery and racism in our country.“ says Laura Pestronk.

This free reading is made possible (in part) by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.   

To attend, please make a reservation on our website.

The Broom Tree Theater at

Astoria First Presbyterian

23-35 Broadway,

Astoria, NY 11106

Directions: Take the N/Q to Broadway.

About the Launch Pad Reading Series

The Launch Pad is a free reading series of new plays by Queens playwrights.  The mission objective of The Launch Pad is to serve as a testing ground for Queens based playwrights who need to hear their plays out loud.  Because Mission to (dit)Mars was co-founded by playwrights and directors, we understand implicitly how to answer those needs.  Through this program, the utmost care is taken to foster a safe and productive environment in order to propel the play forward.

 

This reading is made possible (in part) by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Mission to (dit)Mars is thrilled to continue the Launch Pad reading series with SAME SAME,  a new play by Jason Tseng.  This free play reading will be performed on Monday, August  21st at 7pm at The Broom Tree Theatre located at 23-35 Broadway in Astoria, NY.

SAME SAME is a queer Asian farce focusing on Kelvin and Victor’s relationship as their lives are turned upside down when Victor’s mother, June, makes an unannounced visit. Victor isn’t out yet, so they rent an apartment on AirBnB from Tristan in order to stage it as Victor’s apartment. Familial tensions flare as flames, new and old, threaten Kelvin and Victor’s relationship. Meanwhile, June grapples with her own secrets.

The cast includes Wai Ching Ho, Brian Kim, Ben Bartels, Daniel Patrick Smith and Siho Ellsmore with stage direction by Peter J. Kuo.

The evening is presented by Mission to (dit)Mars co-founders Kari Bentley-Quinn, Don Nguyen, Meredith Packer, and Laura Pestronk.

Commenting on the play, co-founder Meredith Packer says “It’s so exciting to be kicking off our season a bit early this year with Jason’s play. It’s fun, touching and a great way to bring us all back from the summer.”

Laura Pestronk adds “The amount of action-filled zany fun packed into this play has left me giddily enthralled since Jason first brought a few pages of it in for us to enjoy. Get ready to laugh, gasp, and not even begin to predict what might happen next.”

“Jason takes the structure of a traditional farce and puts a modern, diverse spin on it with hilarious and often touching results. ” said Kari Bentley-Quinn

This free reading is made possible (in part) by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

To attend, please make a reservation on our website:

http://missiontoditmars.com/reservations/

The Broom Tree Theater at
Astoria First Presbyterian
23-35 Broadway,
Astoria, NY 11106

Directions: Take the N/Q to Broadway.

About the Launch Pad Reading Series

The Launch Pad is a free reading series of new plays by Queens playwrights.  The mission objective of The Launch Pad is to serve as a testing ground for Queens based playwrights who need to hear their plays out loud.  Because Mission to (dit)Mars was co-founded by playwrights and directors, we understand implicitly how to answer those needs.  Through this program, the utmost care is taken to foster a safe and productive environment in order to propel the play forward.

This reading is made possible (in part) by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Mission to (dit)Mars is thrilled to announce All Systems Go: Mission 5 as the culminating event for the LAUNCH PAD Reading Series this year.   This free play reading will be held at the Astoria Performing Arts Center at 30-34 Crescent Street in Astoria, Queens on Monday, June 19th at 7pm.

ALL SYSTEMS GO: MISSION 5 is an evening of excerpts from nine brand new plays by the Queens based writers group The Propulsion Lab.   The evening is presented by Mission to (dit)Mars co-founders Kari Bentley-Quinn, Don Nguyen, Meredith Packer, and Laura Pestronk.  It is made possible (in part) by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.   

“Our writers have adeptly responded to the social and political issues happening right now with a diverse and stirring array of plays that examine so many aspects of our world today: sexuality, loneliness, race, class, religion and, above all, the importance of human connection.” said co-founder Kari Bentley-Quinn

Participating playwrights for this event are Jonathan Alexandratos, Mrinalini Kamath, Lisa Huberman, Kristine M. Reyes, Scott Casper, Tyler Rivenbark, Jason Tseng, Nat Cassidy, and Ray Yamanouchi.  

Laura Pestronk adds “This year’s Propulsion Lab dives headfirst into the deep end, grappling with strong, scary subjects with grace and fearlessness and even hilarity. I’m proud of what is looking to be our no holds barred boldest All Systems Go yet!”

The cast includes Shaun Fauntleroy, Eston Fung, Lindsley Howard, Brian McCormick, Karsten Otto, Stu Richel, Samantha Rosentrater, David Shih, Brendan Sokler, Sara Thigpen and more.

The evening is directed by Meredith Packer, Laura Pestronk, and Christine Zagrobelny.  Stage Management by Sarah Lahue.

“I can’t believe we are at All Systems Go! year five. This is by far the most diverse and exciting grouping of excerpts we have been given to present and I am so excited to share it with our theater community here in Queens.” said co-founder Meredith Packer

All Systems Go! Mission 5 will include excerpts from the following eleven new plays:

PARENT/TEACHER by Jonathan Alexandratos

On Parent/Teacher Conference Night at small, Southern elementary school, a parent, a teacher, and a really fucked up voice on the intercom clash over who has suffered the greatest pain.

MARY by Nat Cassidy

“You’ve seen her before: the shy, quiet older woman making her way through life, doing her best to blend into the background. But Mary is about to learn there’s something special inside her; something that will have horrifying, deadly consequences for anyone who crosses her path.  MARY is a serialized audioplay told over twelve half-hour episodes.”

EARL: A SUICIDE by Tyler Rivenbark

In the Summer of 1985 Tyler was born. Less than a year later in the Spring of 1986 his grandfather killed himself. In the Spring of 2016 Tyler started writing Earl: A Suicide – a meta exploration of the thirty silent years in between.

EMPTY SECTS by Scott Casper

Our relationships degraded by the internet age, with connection masking isolation and isolation masking connection.  

AIRBNB by Jason Tseng

Kelvin and Victor’s lives are turned upside down when Victor’s mother, June, makes an unannounced visit. Victor isn’t out yet, so they rent an apartment on AirBnB from Tristan in order to stage it as Victor’s apartment. Familial tensions flare as flames, new and old, threaten Kelvin and Victor’s relationship. Meanwhile, June grapples with her own secrets.

UNPACKING JOB by Lisa Huberman

An artist embarks on a project to commemorate the anniversary grandmother’s death, and is forced to grapple with her own emotional inheritance.  A meditation on vintage clothes,  family guilt, and Old Testament angst.  

LIFE AFTER BIRTH by Kristine M. Reyes

Long days, sleepless nights, spit-up and poop and so many tears. This is Karyn and James’ new life as parents…will they survive it with their sense of selves intact?

THE AMERICAN TRADITION by Ray Yamanouchi

In Antebellum America, Eleanor—cross-dressing as a white planter—and her husband, Bill—pretending to be her loyal servant—attempt to escape to the free state of Pennsylvania.  In hot pursuit of them is Walsh, a drunk planter and member of the Not All Slavers movement.

LET THERE BE LOVE by Mrinalini Kamath

DeeDee, “The Goddess of Love,” an online dating and algorithm hater, runs a matchmaking agency with her son, Eric. A mash up of Sons and Lovers, the myth of Eros and Psyche and the dating app wars.

To attend the reading, please make a reservation on our website.

Astoria Performing Arts Center at

Good Shepherd United Methodist Church

30-34 Crescent St. (at 30th Rd)

Astoria, NY 11102

Directions: Take the N/Q to 30th Avenue. Walk down 30th Ave toward the Trade Fair Supermarket, continue past Mt. Sinai Hospital of Queens. Turn left on Crescent Street, then right on 30th Rd. The entrance is the second set of red doors on your left.

About the Launch Pad Reading Series

The Launch Pad is a free reading series of new plays by Queens playwrights.  The mission objective of The Launch Pad is to serve as a testing ground for Queens based playwrights who need to hear their plays out loud.  Because Mission to (dit)Mars was co-founded by playwrights and directors, we understand implicitly how to answer those needs.  Through this program, the utmost care is taken to foster a safe and productive environment in order to propel the play forward.

PRESS CONTACT: Don Nguyen, 718-839-0424, missiontoditmars@gmail.com

This reading is made possible (in part) by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

ALARM by Scott Casper

Mission to (dit)Mars is thrilled to continue the Launch Pad reading series with ALARM,  a new play by Scott Casper.  This free play reading will be performed on Monday, February 13th at 7pm at The Broom Tree Theatre located at 23-35 Broadway in Astoria, NY.

Scott Casper

ALARM is a Groundhog Day social commentary, where everyday obstacles to equality are examined as the inescapable cycles of violence they really are.

The cast includes Kevin Rose, Lesslie Dodge Crane, Al Nazemian, Arlyn Mick, and Chello Solaperto with direction by David Castro.

Co-founder Meredith Packer states “The Mission to Ditmars team has been very excited about this piece since it’s inception. It’s themes and the discussions it will bring about could not be more relevant to the times we find ourselves in.”

“With Alarm, Scott has created a piece that holds your attention and pulls you in from the opening scene.” explains co-founder Kari Bentley-Quinn. “The slow buildup of dread and absurdity is irresistible, and it is also a sharp examination of how humans interact in desperate situations.”

Co-founder Laura Pestronk adds “Alarm will get you trembling in fear on the edge of your seat and then knock you off your seat laughing in one seamless move. The world Scott creates and then slowly unravels is a nail-biting riddle of a mystery you won’t be able to look away from.”

To attend the reading, please make a reservation.

The Broom Tree Theater at Astoria First Presbyterian
23-35 Broadway,
Astoria, NY 11106

Directions: Take the N/Q to Broadway.

About the Launch Pad Reading Series

The Launch Pad is a free reading series of new plays by Queens playwrights.  The mission objective of The Launch Pad is to serve as a testing ground for Queens based playwrights who need to hear their plays out loud.  Because Mission to (dit)Mars was co-founded by playwrights and directors, we understand implicitly how to answer those needs.  Through this program, the utmost care is taken to foster a safe and productive environment in order to propel the play forward.

PRESS CONTACT: Don Nguyen, 718-839-0424, missiontoditmars@gmail.com

This reading is made possible (in part) by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Mission to (dit)Mars is thrilled to kick off this year’s Launch Pad reading series with THE WORST MOTHER IN THE WORLD,  a new play by Kari Bentley-Quinn.  This free play reading will be performed on Monday, November 14th at 7pm at The Broom Tree Theatre located at 23-35 Broadway in Astoria, NY.

In THE WORST MOTHER IN THE WORLD, Nina is a new mom with an infant son, battling crippling anxiety attacks that are keeping her from being the mother she wants to be. When she decides to seek therapy, she makes an unexpected friend in the pregnant daughter of her therapist, who may or may not be a pathological liar.  

The cast includes Kara Young, Jennifer Gordon Thomas, and Alisha Spielmann (All Systems Go 4, Blast Radius) with direction by Kristin McCarthy Parker (All Systems Go 2 & 4, Puffs, Hold onto your Butts)

In describing the selection of this play, co-founder Don Nguyen explains “This is the first time in the four years of our reading series that we’ve selected a play written by one of our co-founders.  We were struck with Kari’s deep exploration into the fragile bond between mother and daughter, therapist and patient, as well as two strangers.  Kari’s dedication to frequently examining the decay and dissolution of the bond between parent and child is admirable and comes through so clearly in this play.”

“Kari dares ask a question we may ponder but never say aloud: ‘What happens if I don’t love my child?’ The answer is explored with both fortitude and grace.” explains co-founder Laura Pestronk.  “The compassion woven through this play for parent, child, and even bystander, is a testament to Kari’s strong command of the language of our innermost demons and a deep awareness of what it means to be human, flaws and all.”

“Kari’s ability to tap into the darkest corners of our hearts and minds and bring them into the light on stage is nothing short of inspired” adds co-founder Meredith Packer.  “She allows for understanding and catharsis while never trying to give a cookie-cutter solution. Her work allows conversation and thought for both actors and audiences alike.”

To attend the reading, please make a reservation.

The Broom Tree Theater at

Astoria First Presbyterian

23-35 Broadway,

Astoria, NY 11106

Directions: Take the N/Q to Broadway.

About the Launch Pad Reading Series

The Launch Pad is a free reading series of new plays by Queens playwrights.  The mission objective of The Launch Pad is to serve as a testing ground for Queens based playwrights who need to hear their plays out loud.  Because Mission to (dit)Mars was co-founded by playwrights and directors, we understand implicitly how to answer those needs.  Through this program, the utmost care is taken to foster a safe and productive environment in order to propel the play forward.

QCA-Logo

This reading is made possible (in part) by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.